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Battle Chess is a quite typical chess game, but it comes with a twist: all pieces are represented by small, realistic figures that walk around on the chessboard, and when one piece takes another, they both take part in an animated battle. There is a different animation for each permutation, depending on which pieces are capturing or being captured. You can also play in 2D without animation.

The game's opening library includes 30,000 different moves, ensuring a variety of games will unfold across the 10 skill levels.

Multi-player support can be extended to modem and/or serial port play.


Battle Chess Atari ST Game Menu
Battle Chess DOS 2-D board view (CGA w/composite monitor)
Battle Chess Windows Starting a match (GOG release)
Battle Chess Sharp X68000 Settings menu, the X68000 version is fully in English

Promo Images

Battle Chess Screenshot
Battle Chess Screenshot
Battle Chess Screenshot
Battle Chess Screenshot

Alternate Titles

  • "バトル チェス" -- Japanese spelling

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Chess for people who don't like chess DOS Martin Smith (78662)
Cool and Funny DOS AstroNerdBoy (40)
A lot of flash but no fire. DOS woods01 (163)
A classic! DOS Tomer Gabel (4634)

Critic Reviews

Computer Play Amiga Jan, 1989 8.7 out of 10 87
The One Atari ST Jul, 1989 84 out of 100 84
The Games Machine (UK) DOS Mar, 1989 81 out of 100 81
All Game Guide DOS 1998 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) Amiga Nov, 1988 8.8 out of 12 73
ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) DOS Mar, 1989 722 out of 1000 72
Retro Archives Macintosh Aug 22, 2021 13.5 out of 20 68
Retro Archives Amiga Aug 22, 2021 13 out of 20 65
High Score DOS Feb, 1994 3 out of 5 60 DOS Aug 11, 2006 9 out of 20 45


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The game actually features full frontal nudity! In some circumstances where Rook gets the King in checkmate, as the King trembles his robe falls off, leaving him standing starkers, before he runs off in embarrassment (of course, being low-res EGA, there’s not a lot to see even if you *did* want to look!)


  • The scene of a Knight attacking a Knight depicts a classic scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail: One by one, all limbs are severed, each time provoking the victim into the same kind of responsive actions the Black Knight made in the aforementioned movie.
  • If a bishop attacks the king, the bishop will make a big show and swing his staff around, and then the king will simply pull out a gun and shoot him, ending the fight. This is a spoof of a famous scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark, where Indy takes out a sword wielding Arab by pulling out a gun and simply shooting him.

References to the game

There is a movie called Knight Moves (1992) with Christopher Lambert in a main role. He plays some chessmaster, and the plot is around catching some chess-style killer. In one of the opening scenes (maybe 20 mins from the start), while detectives are trying to solve the crime, Christopher Lambert shouts out loud as he was playing Battle Chess. It probably was the animation peon against knight he was watching.


  • Computer Gaming World
    • April 1994 (Issue #117) – Introduced into the Hall of Fame
    • November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) – #106 in the “150 Best Games of All Time” list
Information also contributed by Andrew Grasmeder, Jayson Firestorm, MAT and Ricky Derocher.
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